French Universities are emailing millions of students across France, ordering them not to vote for Marine Le Pen.
This comes after new polls show Le Pen being the most popular candidate among young adults aged between 18-34.
According to a report released by polling organization Odoxa on Dec. 16, the National Front is the political party with the most support among French people aged 18-34.
Universities across France have begun emailing all of their students as well as University staff, telling them not to vote for Marine Le Pen in Sunday’s decisive second round, which will decide who becomes the country’s next President.
Christian Roblédo, President of the University of Angers in Western France, said in an email to students:
If as a citizen I can not bring myself to live in a society where the extreme right is in power, as university president it is my duty to denounce the harmful ideology that it conveys (withdrawal into oneself, Intolerance, fear of the other, refusal of differences) and which reason as so many threats on what constitutes the very essence of higher education and research in France, namely values of humanism, openness, Pluralism and freedom of expression.
Already in 2002, we were placed before such a choice. At the time, a Republican front had come together to make the National Front score as low as possible. In 2017, it is to beat him, and will not be beaten by abstaining or voting white. So we have to vote massively so that his candidate does not win the presidential election.
The President of the University of Bordeaux, Manuel Tunon de Lara, went even further in an email to his students, saying:
I have always forbidden myself to use my position as university president to intervene in the political debate, respecting the ideas of each and every one. Elected by all, I have never claimed any membership in a trade union or a party and wish to maintain that neutrality.
The Marine Le Pen program and the ideas of the National Front that nourish it are not compatible, from my point of view, with the academic values we have hitherto defended, nor with our ambitions for the University. How to defend openness in a country that would close its borders? How can we advocate the progress of science and education under the tutelage of rulers who can deny history and question the results of research? What future for a French university out of Europe and its programs of research and education …
My position is not an isolated position; It is associated with that advocated by the Conference of University Presidents, which called for “voting against the extremism of the candidature of Marine Le Pen”…
I, myself, from immigration at a time when Franco’s Spain and the European countries have suffered dramatically from nationalist populism, discrimination and the exclusion of the “elites”, I can not resolve myself today To remain silent at the risk of seeing history repeat itself.
I have no lessons to give to anyone and everyone must keep their free will and be able to express their convictions. It is nevertheless my responsibility to call on the academic community to vote next Sunday and to block its vote on the accession of Marine Le Pen to the Presidency of the French Republic.